North Island MLA Claire Trevena says Friday’s opening of a new Front Counter BC office in Campbell River is simply window dressing by a government that has gutted the BC Forest Service.
Residents on the North Island will now find it even easier to access government services with the official opening of the FrontCounter BC office in Campbell River, Minister of Agriculture and MLA for Comox Valley Don McRae said Friday.
But Trevena wasn’t impressed.
“Access to government services is always important but I am concerned that the BC Liberal government is more concerned about window dressing than the real needs of our natural resources,” she said. “It’s the 100th anniversary of the BC Forest service but there’ve been massive cuts in that iconic Ministry; there have been huge cuts to compliance and enforcement; and there is no real commitment to our land base.”
The Campbell River location is the sixth FrontCounter BC office to open this year, and the 18th since January 2011. The expansion of the FrontCounter BC program is a key part of the Province’s integrated approach to the natural resource sector and will provide residents and businesses on the North Island with a local office to conduct their natural resource business.
“The natural resource industry is really embracing FrontCounter BC because it’s a one-stop shop for all their permitting and authorization business needs,” said Don McRae, Minister of Agriculture and MLA for Comox Valley. “This new office is about saving entrepreneurs time and helping local small businesses create jobs quicker. This is great news for Campbell River and the North Island.”
The opening also supports the ‘Canada Starts Here: BC Jobs Plan’ by providing easier access to government services that will help to enable quicker job creation and support regional economic development in the natural resource sectors.
FrontCounter BC is a single-window service for clients of the natural resource sector. FrontCounter BC was created in 2005 with eight locations, a dedicated call centre and online applications.
“FrontCounter BC embodies the vision of this ministry – it’s client-centred and regionally-based,” said Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson. “By bringing government services into communities like Campbell River, we’re supporting economic development in B.C.”
Larry Fedorkie, RFT, general manager, Capacity Forest Management Ltd. said, “In the past, forest licensees had to submit applications to several different agencies for the necessary approvals. Now that we have a FrontCounter BC office in town, staff working in one office handle all forestry-related authorizations. This ‘one-stop shop’ model has proven to be much more effective and efficient.”
- FrontCounter BC offers more than 130 natural resource-related permitsand authorizations at each location.
- FrontCounter BC provides services on behalf of 16 additional partneragencies.
- Since Jan. 1, 2005, over 47,000 authorizations have been processed.
- The FrontCounter BC call centre handles more than 21,400 inquiriesannually.
The BC Jobs Plan: http://www.bcjobsplan.ca/
Find a FrontCounter near you:
FrontCounter BC: http://www.frontcounterbc.gov.bc.ca/
Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations: